Everything started as a trip to a unknown destination, my friends an initiative to go somewhere in Europe for two nights whiteout knowing the destination until we arrived to the airport. Once we we arrived to the airport I was informed that Brussels was our destination. We boarded the aircraft happy and excited, neither my friend nor I had been there before.
As soon as we arrived to the hotel, the staff informed us to not get worried if we were to see armed men walking on the street. They also told us that the situation in Brussels had been affected from the last weeks events in Paris. Happily informed, my friend and I left the hotel after checking ourselves in to get a glance of Brussels.
Our first impression was that there weren’t much people on the streets, especially for a Friday night. And yes, there were police and army men walking around which made us feel more secure.
Unfortunately, it started to rain and the streets got emptier which made more then sense. We found a cute little restaurant and order a couple of mint tea, it started to get late so we decided to take the subway back home.
The following day, the hotel staff told us that the subway was closed and that we could only take the bus. Great opportunity to see more of the city was out first thought, but when my family and friends start to send text messages to be careful followed by phone calls from reporters from various news outlets I started to wonder “whats going on?”.
Yes, there we’re less people out on the streets. But it was a Saturday morning and the rain poured down. I finished off my first interview while we were on the bus headed to our breakfast spot, the second (TV) interview after we’d finished off our breakfast and the third while leaving the café.
People didn’t seem worried and we thought everyone was very friendly and had a positive attitude despite what was going on. Only thing was that the city was basically on lockdown, there were no people out, the shops that were open were told to close up. Since Brussels shopping mall was closed I looked for shelter from the rain at The Plaza. I tried to order a cab back to my hotel but the taxi company that they work with had no taxis out. So I walked back, for 30 minutes which was very lovely (as soon as the rain stopped). So I decided to charge my batteries and hop on a train to Antwerpen because Brussels had turned into a ghost town. It was quite nice to arrive to Antwerpen, there were people out. The shops and restaurants were open. After spending a few hours there I decided to head back before it got late, the status in Brussels was the same. Ghost town, echo!
As I’m writing this while waiting to board the aircraft I cant help to think about how media can affect us, its such a powerful medium. And in times like these, we really need to filter and read between the lines. A reporters job is to report/write objectively, which seams rare nowadays because the news outlets are more concerned about creating headlines. Read the full article here (its in Swedish) and see for yourself if you the same conclusion from my own written words. What do you think? Tell me below!